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Innovation a salon challenge

Back2myroots : A place to share thoughts and grow idea’s. B2MR


Innovation, vision, collaboration, change, challenge = Action

 This past week it has been my distinct privilege working with the talented team of salon stylist’s at “ Hair International” In Palo Alto California working with the owner Pam Decharo. Pam is not just the salon owner she is also an award-winning stylist with a vision for change.


This past week we have embarked on mission to implement some change in the salon culture, we have asked the salon team to have trust in us as we ask questions of them suggest an alternative way at looking at salon issues and addressing our clients this challenge asked a lot of them and certainly took some of them out side of their comfort zone.


This is one of the busiest sole ownership salons I have ever had the pleasure to work with and be a part of a truly multi cultural salon with a very large team and so this served to make the challenge even greater for us all, our goal to look at and address some of the key issues that challenges so many salons in these days of change, in an industry that now mainly seen as being franchised salons or booth rental it is rare to find an independent large salon that caters for a huge clientele and caters for what clients wants, one that is able to offer alternative to the franchise or booth business model and more importantly takes the time understand the client listen to their needs and wants make recommendation thus offering a full attentive and caring service delivering that old fashion salon service and experience yet in todays fast paced world.


It was an intense week of training with presentations and models, a week that asked the stylist to give us the time to do and work with models. Not only did we ask the stylist to learn a new way of delivering their consultation or in some cases learn to do a full consultation we challenged them opting to bring in models who were not pervious salon clients, Pam with her vision decided to do a model call for women and men who used box colour. Why? This was to add to the learning curve and yes challenge a little more to see if these salon clients really were satisfied with their hair its look and condition or if educated and offered an alternative that would an could be affordable and better they could be converted to salon clients, if they were shown the difference between over the counter home products and professional products for home maintenance would they consider buying professional, and finally if we could show them that we as professionals stylist had their best interests at heart could they be turned into salon clients would they be willing to re book a future appointment. The answer on all counts is a resounding “Yes” this alone has for me made the week worth while it has confirmed to me what I have always known, That being that the client wants to feel they are getting a personal l service, from an expert willing to listen to them able to explain how they have got to where they are with their hair issues and finally how to solve them or offering solutions.


At times as we worked together to address some of the colour or conditions issues, at times as solutions were discussed formulations suggested ‘Fear crept in creating a little stress” Yet in every case the stylist took a deep breath trusted in me and the process, trusted in Pam and the vision she has for them I have the greatest respect for each and every one of them. This has all strengthen my own resolve that it is through education through sharing through continued self development that we become stronger it is knowledge that enables us to offer solution to show our clients that we are the true professional who is both communicative and highly skilled. Who really can offer solutions and deliver that full salon service and experience.


As this week has un-folded and in-fact as my seven days comes to an end I’m humbled by the skill set of this team and their willingness and yes hunger to learn giving up their own time coming in on their days off. To all the team at “Hair international” I say thank you so very much for making me feel so welcome for be so willing to trust and share the vision that Pam has for letting me try and make it happen. Thank you To Pam Decharo. For having the vision having the focus drive and motivation to make this happen. Finally a thank you to the clients who sat and listened, who gave of their time who embraced the idea that the salon and professionals in the team do understand their concerns and really do want only the best for them. At that hair colour can have dimension textures look healthy without being high maintenance and costly. The key being that great colour shows off a hair cut, that great colour gives any look and style more movement and adds another dimension. As stylist all we have to do is educate our clients so that a mindset might be changed. Its by sharing our knowledge its by educating our clients, its by demonstrating that as stylist we care, Yes its build trust showing respect building relationships. When all of this occurs a conversion from a none salon to a client salon does take place.


This is so very powerful and yes restores my faith that the salon and industry do have a future if we as stylist and salon owners take the time to put the client first.

Dealing with box colour issues is not about doing colour correction and over charging it’s about education its about offering solution this leads to a new salon client who is willing to commit to a maintenance program a client who is willing to purchase products and yes re book appointments in advance to maintain the look and styles discussed created and presented!

The challenge for any of us is taking the time to do that consultation to show the clients that we really do care that we really do want to bring them back into the salon. So the question becomes as a stylist what are you willing to do?

Again Thank you “Hair International” Pam Decharo and her talented team. working with Goldwell products and KMS products.

It is essential to remember that most of these models with the exception of one came to the salon with box colour hair issues. Each on was to some degree corrective.

This journey. This career, is wonderful – Challenging. Inspiring and yes can and will be hard work. but the rewards are worth all the effort.
Thank you all for letting me share some thoughts with you today.These are inspirational, passionate, industry professionals.They have a vision. These are the people I want on my bus to learn from, share with, take a journey with. Get inspired. Connect with driven motivated industry professional. challenge your self. invest in ones /your self 

Are you driver or passenger !

 There are no guarantees in life and ones career and career choice is no different thing happen and its how we deal with them that defines us. Jobs change relationships come and go the one thing that remains after training is our skill both hands on creative and the ones we learn about people and communication about caring about being a team player. Constantly developing new skills staying current is so very important.



I also think that we need to always look at the Why. Ask the question Why are we in business whats it for? Or Why do we want to go into to business what is success? Why do I suggest this I think by asking and exploring the why we get to the motive behind why we want to be in business what is true success. Why the will also help us to understand our true values this in turn helps us to follow the path to the success we want  and desire. It will help us to surround ourselves with the right team those who share our values and vision.


Remember. Salon success. Stylist success. Business success are all linked together it’s Team success. Its never about any destination only ever about a journey taking the right people on that journey makes it enjoyable maybe even fun!

The salon and the S word now available in book and e book format for links to purchase and reviews Click here or on the image. 


 The Salon & the ‘S’ Word

 Written by Mike Vallance

Essential for success: commitment, focus, drive, a willingness to make change keeping an open mind. planning. taking responsibility for ones choices making and taking hard decisions. Honesty and staying creatively challenged.

My web site is Back2myroots: B2MR feel free to check in

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